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Every day is a gift

Many who have ever been in my office, have seen my little screen saver go around and around on my monitor and it reads, “EVERY DAY IS A GIFT”. Although some may consider this just a cliché, I have kept it there for many years – just to remind me. We take so many things for granted, that a little nudge once in a while is helpful.

One nudge that came many years ago was from Oprah and her gratitude journal. I can’t say that I have written in it every day but I do have quite a significant list of items there for which I have been and continue to be grateful. As I read over parts of my list, some make me chuckle,“ comfy shoes.” or “good hair days”. Others are serious and they fill me with awe and tears, “a good report from the doctor”or “a peaceful death for a friend.” Then there are the ones that are just mysteries, “the myriad shades of yellow” or “the depth of my mom’s wisdom.” Still others bring back wonderful memories, “camping at Quetico,” or “turning 60.”

Who could ever exhaust all the beauties and blessings that our great God has bestowed on us?

And then I think of our brothers and sisters who do not have the luxury of comfortable shoes or of turning 60. Watching the news one evening, I saw an elderly refugee woman thank God for her son who, instead of leaving her alone, carried her across a river to safe haven for refugees. Another person was grateful that he was able to get out of Myanmar with his wife and children – and nothing else.

What a contrast of existence we experience on this Earth that we all call home. And what a contrast in the blessings for which we are grateful!

Reasons to be grateful, like many things, are relative. And always, we can see God’s Providential hand in those reasons. When I look at my screen saver, it makes me grateful again and again that I have people in my life and possibilities at hand to help me to see that God is still busy creating and holding us all in love and reverence.

And so, as I stand at my kitchen window propped up by a dowel rod, I thank God for a beautiful sunset, the smell of a chicken casserole, the sound of children playing soccer on the parking lot, and, of course, the dowel rod. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Indeed, every day is a gift and that gift is filled with many gifts that we receive as we awaken each day. May all our senses and our hearts be always attuned to God’s generosity and the wealth of treasures that are given to us each day and may this awareness continue to inspire us to “re-gift” these treasures to others.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sister Patricia Fillenwarth

Sister Patty Fillenwarth, formerly Sister Joseph Monica, has been a Sister of Providence since 1958. She has ministered as a teacher, principal and counselor. She currently volunteers at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

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5 Comments

  1. Dawn Tomaszewski SP on November 23, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Thanks Patty! You helped me begin this Thanksgiving day with extra gratitude not only for God’s goodness but also for the gift of being a channel or co-creator of that goodness. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Donna Butler on November 23, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Thanks, Patty and Happy Thanksgiving to you! You are so right. It is important to take notice of things we usually take for granted. I appreciate your global perspective as well. I am thankful for you and for all the goodness you bring to this world everyday, especially your compassion and love for those who are vulnerable.

  3. Denise Wilkinson on November 23, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Mi amiga! So you and so true. Much love, D

  4. Charles Fisher on November 24, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you very much S Patty as I am sorta regretting that Thanksgiving is only one day a year “officially.”
    Most of us appreciate it when we’re reminded that thanking God and our family and friends is an every day healthy prayer practice.
    Thanks very much for all you do in your ministry with and for others!
    Chuck Fisher

  5. Anne Therese on November 30, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    I am so very grateful for you,hermana. You are always inspiring, uplifting and full of wisdom. Thanks for being you!

    Love,
    Anne Therese

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